Happy Where You Work, But Unhappy In Your Role? Here’s What to Do


You love where you work, from the mission statement to the company culture. You’re proud of the products or services the business provides. There’s just one problem—you hate your current job.

Maybe you assumed an entry-level role as a sales associate, an office clerk, or the like in order to get your foot in the door. Or perhaps you got the job you wanted but you’re now feeling bored and in a rut after years of similar tasks. Either way, you can mix things up by making a lateral move to another position or pursuing a promotion.

Below, we’ll examine how to prepare your resume for an internal promotion by upskilling. Then, we’ll discuss methods for getting noticed to make the shortlist the next time a promotion or position is available.

Table of Contents

Increase Your Skills to Meet the Qualifications

Today, companies can foster a culture of fairness by being transparent about advancement. This includes using measurable criteria to regularly assess employee performance and creating clear career paths for advancement. If you’re not sure what skills and abilities you may need to climb the corporate ladder, ask. Making known your desire for advancement can be a key step to obtaining it—but more on that later.

If you’re looking for a lateral career change, the position you seek may be listed on public job boards. If so, the required education, skills, and experience will be listed in the posting. 

Once you know what skills you need, how can you obtain them? And what is the next step after you have? Consider the following steps.

Hit the Books

Continuing education is vitally important in many fields, especially those with rapidly changing trends or technologies. The simplest ways to keep up with the latest information may be to subscribe to an industry journal or follow a reputable industry blog.

You may also want to take courses to obtain additional degrees or certifications. Often, courses for mid-career learners are available online so that you can fit them into your busy schedule. Check with your boss or HR to find out if your company has any continuing education initiatives. You may find that they are willing to pay for your advanced training.

Internal Training

When you inquire about advanced training as discussed above, you may discover internal training opportunities as well. For example, some companies have mentorship programs that groom employees for leadership roles. Or, you may be able to shadow someone in another department for hands-on training before transferring to that team.

Industry Events

Conferences, seminars, expos, and other events provide the opportunity to attend workshops and learn directly from experts and leaders in your industry. You can research events independently or inquire as to whether your company will sponsor your attendance.

Communicating Your Advancement

Classes, events, and mentorships will all help you gain new skills and experience. Don’t forget to update your resume and your LinkedIn profile to reflect this. Where possible, demonstrate these skills in action in the bulleted descriptions of your work experience. Focus on quantifiable results.

Getting Noticed

Keeping your LinkedIn profile up-to-date is one way to communicate your aptitude, but try the following to really get noticed.

Master Your Current Role

You are more likely to be considered for a promotion if your boss has no complaints about your work. Get rid of any bad habits, like procrastinating or not being punctual. Make sure you meet your deadlines, projected goals, and any performance indicators on employee reviews. Then, you will be in a better position if you decide to ask for a promotion. 


An involved and proactive employee is more likely to receive a promotion than a reactive one. When management asks for volunteers for a new project or training initiative, enlist! A word of caution, however: don’t take on an unreasonable amount of extras. Not completing them or giving them your all will not help in your promotional quest.

Just Ask!

Asking for a promotion may seem intimidating, but it can bolster the acquisition of your goal. Do your research to find out what positions may be available. Build a convincing case as to why you would be a good fit.

Remember that asking for a promotion is not a one-off. It is usually a series of conversations. Don’t despair if you don’t receive a promotion or transfer the first time you ask. You’ve planted the seed and may be considered the next time there is availability.

Key Takeaways

If you like where you work but not what you do, you can pivot to another role or reach out for a promotion. Find out the skill requirements, and read, take classes, get certified, attend company-sponsored trainings and industry events in order to achieve those skills.

Then, become a stand-out candidate by performing your current role well in order to be on the radar for advancement. Volunteer for new projects. If all else fails, ask! Soon, you will enjoy the excitement of settling into your new position. 


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